Telling the truth seems to be one of the most important characteristics a Christian can exhibit. It may be one of the hardest ones at times, and from the time we’re toddlers to the time we die it is a constant battle to always be truthful. The desire to lie or tell half-truths is deeply ingrained in our sinful flesh, and scripture is full of cautionary tales about those who skirted the truth for their own gain.
As he continued his appeal to believers to walk the walk we talk, the Apostle Paul wrote: Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. Eph 4:25
In this verse, Paul is referencing an Old Testament passage, specifically Zechariah 8:16-17 which reads: “’These are the things which you should do: speak the truth to one another; judge with truth and judgment for peace in your gates. Also let none of you devise evil in your heart against another, and do not love perjury; for all these are what I hate,’ declares the LORD.”’ The command to speak truth is certainly not something new; it goes back to the beginning and the LORD’s demand for His children to be above reproach in all things.
Paul connects this plea to his former remarks on how each believer is united and connected in the body of Christ – members of one another (cf: Eph 3:6). This truly is a beautiful way of looking at our relationship to other believers, because each of us cares for our own body in the same way we are to care for the body of Christ. And in the context of this verse, we see the contrast of how silly it would be for connected parts of our body to lie to one another. Imagine your left hand lying to your right, or one ear lying to the other. It’s impossible to even imagine! And in the same way, Christians must speak truth to one another in love so that we remain united in the building up of the body of Christ (Eph 4:12-13).
A simple word search of ‘truth’ in the bible reveals just how important it is, as it is mentioned over 200 times. Truth sets believers apart from the world. Truth establishes trust which leads to love and deep, meaningful relationships. It builds confidence, genuineness, and authenticity, and in many ways prevents us from falling into the trap of sin because we know that our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ will be honest with us, as we are honest with them. And, going back to Paul’s earlier admonition to adhere to sound doctrine, knowing, telling, and teaching the truth keeps us from being deceived and tossed around like wind-driven waves by the falsehoods of deceitful men (cf: Eph 4:14).
Today, let’s join together in prayer and ask the Lord to reveal His truth to us and help us be truthful to those around us, in love, compassion, and gentleness. Let’s not ignore the fact that truth is part of what joins us together as a family of believers.